The M777 Portee was developed by BAE Systems in the UK under the LIMAWS (G) or the Lightweight Mobile Artillery Weapon System program for the British Army. The first prototype was made in 2005. It was an intermediate design between a towed howitzer and artillery guns mounted on a truck chassis.
The British Army required 30-40 military vehicles of this class. Unfortunately, the LIMAWS (G) program was canceled in 2007 due to financial problems. The British Army continued to use the AS90 self-propelled howitzers, the replacement of which is not planned until 2023.
BAE Systems M777 Portee uses the revolutionary M777 155 mm / L39 gun, which has already been used by the US Army, the US Marine Corps and several other countries. The maximum range of fire is 30 km with a missile projectile. The howitzer can also be used with Excalibur high-precision long-range missiles with a maximum range of 40 km. The intensity of the shooting is 5 rounds per minute, the steady speed is 2 shots per minute.
The design of the prototype has received an excellent assessment of the UK MoD after passing 350 different tests.
The M777 field howitzer is partially unloaded from the vehicle before firing. The M777 Portee also carries about 20 rounds of ammunition alongside with the howitzer. The advantage of this design is its mobility. In addition, the offroad ability of a single vehicle is higher than a truck with a trailed implement. A unique feature of the M777 Portee is the ability to easily remove and install the gun on the chassis. Without a howitzer, the chassis turns into a special truck to carry ammunition (up to 71 rounds of ammunition).
The M777 Portee cabin accommodates 5 crew members, has light armor and NBC protection. It is based on the Supacat HMT 800 8×6 chassis. The vehicle can be transported by a C-130 transport plane or two CH-47 Chinook helicopters.